Hello, everyone.

Thank you so much for tuning into this week's episode of My Tech Story. My name is Alice Kanjejo, and I am very excited to be with the guests that I have in studio today. But before we get into that, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everybody who's been supporting this podcast.

Sharing with your ecosystem, guys. Keep sharing. Keep supporting.

It will help not only this platform to grow, get more people in the tech space to know about this podcast, but also get more people to know about more products that they can use in their day to day lives or just be inspired by the conversations that we have on this platform. Without further ado, I am going to introduce my guest for the day. So are you ready? My guest for the day today is Tobenna Abanofor.

Did I say it right? Yes. I had to practice that before we started this episode, but Toby, which is what I'll be referring to him throughout, which is what I shall be referring him as for this episode. So, joining us today is the very accomplished founding engineer of AI care, which is a highly innovative tech startup in the African space with over six years of experience working with both startups and corporations.

Our guest today is a highly skilled, full stack and DevOps engineer with a particular passion for back end development. His contributions to AI care have been nothing short of remarkable, as he played a pivotal role in designing and constructing the ideal infrastructure that enabled the company's growth. I think we'll get more deep into the integrities of the AI care, what the product does and what your contribution has been there as we move along into your tech story.

I'm very curious to know about that. Moving on safely through his exceptional skills and expertise, he helped the startup achieve a tenfold increase in its valuation and significantly expand its client base. Beyond his impressive technical accomplishments, toby has a deep rooted passion for building and everything that comes along with it.

It is our pleasure, or it is my pleasure to welcome Toby into this space. Thank you for gracing the MyTech Story platform. Thank you.

Thank you for being here. Yeah. So how do you feel about that intro or just about you feel? I normally say on this podcast.

It's one of my best parts of the podcast because sometimes it makes our guests realize how far they have come or what their accomplishments are when you read them aloud. Because when you're working within the journey or when you're doing your everyday nuances involved in engineering, you can get lost to really think about what's next, what's next and forgetting how far you've come. So I hope that made you feel a bit more like, wow, okay, this is what I'm doing.

Yeah. I have this thing called the Book of Brag. Okay.

And I think I should add you to that file to help me rewrite that thing. Yeah, you need to I need to skip this book of Brag. Yeah.

I learned it somewhere. It's quite important, and it really helps to just because we do a lot of stuff on a daily, and sometimes we do things that are really meaningful and we think, oh, this is really meaningful, and I'll never forget about it. But then you remember the feeling, but you don't remember exactly what happened, right, later on, or you don't have the right words to explain it or to pass it forward to someone else.

But if you write it down somewhere, then you have the exact words of how you felt in that moment when it happened. That's true. It's kind of like what people say about journaling.

Sometimes it's really important for you to journal and just take in all the memories in that moment, especially the happy times, because people always think you have to write about the bad times, but the good times to also matter, the feeling, so that you don't lose touch of what exactly happened. Besides that, I think having a brag book then is important. Do you have things that you have advice right now? What I should be including in my brag book or how you go about it? No, I don't know that I have anything.

What do you write down? I just write down achievements. It's not like a journal, so I don't have to write it every day. Journaling maybe can become really tedious, or you start to feel like it becomes a task.

Right. But then this is something that you can do within five minutes. Exactly.

So when it happens, you just write it. Right. And it just so happens that the really remarkable things don't happen every day.

Right. So it's like you work towards it for a while and then it gets a point, and then it happens. Right.

It's like us releasing the new app that I told you about that is a milestone. Right. We worked like, a couple of months, and then it got to that milestone, and then you just write, like, yeah, the work that we did got us to this point and we finally released.

Right. And then maybe when we get you signed, like, the first customer, you write, oh, we got our first customer today. And then maybe when you get to the next one and you just keep those highlights, it's almost like a highlight place for your life.

And then even when writing CVS, it's actually easy to just go back to pick it up and just be like, yeah, this is what I did at this company, right? Yes. Actually, I'll take you up on that and actually start thinking about writing down very conclusively every accomplishment that I achieve because I think it seems like it's a small thing, but if you do it for even five years, you start to notice those incremental changes. Exactly.

Yeah. But now, getting more into the conversation on what you've been building and the accomplishments that you've done on that platform, I want us to now get into your tech journey. So tell us, where did you start having an interest in engineering? Where did your tech story begin? Were you always that kid who was curious about building tech products or does it just come to you? Tell us about walk us through your tech journey.

Yeah, my tech journey started way back when I was a kid. This must have been probably like 99. My dad got us a game console, and I remember it's called the Family Comp, some old game console back then.

So my dad is Nigerian South African nationalized anyway, but he lives in SA most of the time, and so when he's coming back, sometimes he get us like gifts and stuff, and that was one of them. So by the time he had gone back to SA, I had finished the games and then I didn't have any other game to play. And now I'm trying to figure out how do they make these games because I can make more for myself to play.

How old were you at this time? Thinking about now you want me to age myself? Okay, sorry. You don't have to give us a range while you're a teenager. Okay.

Five. You are thinking how you can make this game. That's crazy.

And of course I didn't know that they needed a computer to program stuff. I didn't even know about programming languages and things like that. So I thought maybe the only things I knew how to do from school like pottery or electrical stuff.

Right. That's what I had previous to. So I kind of thought it was in the electronics right.

Rather than in some piece of code. Exactly. In software.

I didn't even know what software was. I opened up this cartridge. I'm pretty sure the 90s babies kind of like remember the cartridges that we used to have would go on top of your console? Oh, no.

Did you end up spoiling the I opened it up figuring if I can replicate what is in there. Yeah, I just saw this breadboard with the circuit board anyway with lots of things going through it and I didn't understand it. And you could still play it.

Do you think that you could fix it back when you are breaking it apart? Okay, but you are five. Exactly. I'm thinking I'll make another one already? Yeah, that was very not successful.

But then I was that kid who would always I think the only thing that I didn't open up in the house that was an electronic was the TV. And that was because everybody was going to kill you if the TV wasn't working. So this was not the only thing that you opened up.

Yeah, I ended up even when, let's say, something gets spoiled in the house and a land electrician comes to the house to fix them, I'll be there with them fixing it. So like the fridge and stuff. By the time I was like seven, I already knew how to unscrew all these things, open them up and put them back together just by watching and seeing the people kind of like around me.

And yeah, it just kept on going further and further. At this point, maybe I had gone to school, we had learned about hardware and software, but I still didn't have an understanding what software was and how it's built. I just knew it wasn't like something that you could touch.

And the hardware is the ones that you know what comes to think sorry for interrupting you midway, but you know what? You've just opened like a box in my mind of thinking about when we're younger, we used to be told, this is hardware. Hardware you can touch, CPU ups. And software was just something that you couldn't see, but it exists.

But I really never okay, personally, I wasn't thinking like you opening things. I just kind of like put it at the back of my mind because I think the way they teach you in school, at least African systems, at least in my schooling experience, is for you to cram things. You just know software is not tangible and hardware is non tangible.

So that's very interesting. But anyway, proceed. So all this while in my head, I still kept it that I'm going to learn how to make these games right, like I always knew.

Did you get in trouble for opening up these things, by the way? My mom didn't care about the game, so if it's not working, it's not a problem. But like, the DVD player, the radios and all of that, yeah, those ones got me into trouble. And then there was even a time my mom had traveled and I was left with my cousins who were like older in the house, and the power went out and it turned out it was the circuit board in the house that had the issue.

And I got on this table and with a knife, I unscrewed the thing and I connected the wires. The fuse was broken, right? So I connected the wires myself. And immediately you come into the house, you couldn't know it was an amateur that did this, right? But there's power in the house.

So immediately my mom came back like that was the first thing she saw and oh my God, she nearly lost it because this was actually life electricity. First of all, as a kid, you know how people baby proof the house for kids not to touch, like, tables? Your baby proof was hiding the DVD, the decoder, that was a big one. But then everybody in my house just knew I was going to be an engineer of some kind.

They thought maybe electrical engineer. I always knew I didn't think I was going to be an engineer, if I'm being honest. I wanted to play football.

I just wanted to play. Exactly. I used to do those things just for fun.

That was something that I was good at. But that wasn't what I thought I would do professionally because I didn't want to go to school and be doing math and physics and all that stuff. Even though I was good at it in school.

I was good at physics or technical. But we used to have this thing called Intro tech, introductory to Technology. And I was always best at introduction to technology.

Which school was this? Okay, you don't have to say Nigeria, but this is very interesting because we never had such courses or Introduction to Tech. It was just computer, but it was very basic. So Intratech wasn't like tech like programming and stuff like that? Yeah, it was more like woodwork, metal, work things.

Okay. Introduction to technology. Back then, of course, this was like early 2000s, right? Programming wasn't like this thing that was everywhere.

That was what it was called. I think they've actually changed the name of the course now. Makes sense.

Sorry, I just wanted to want you to take you back to you saying that you always kind of thought that this was going to be a side project, but didn't really think this is really what you meant to do career wise. Actor wow. You really were like this texting.

We're just doing it on you've gone through it. Yeah, but I just wanted to relate it to my story, which I think if you've not had already, you can go ahead and check out my story. It was the first episode, but just in different formats.

So for me, my journey, I would say, was to get to now, to become a podcaster or just marketing in tech in general, is that I always was the kid from the time I was born in class, I'm probably the loudest. If there's a presentation, I'm making it. If we are in front of the crowd or we need someone to give a speech, if it's drama festival, I was there.

I did spoken word for so long at some point. I was always the voice of a lot of things. Confidence for me came very naturally.

Confidence in terms of standing in front of a crowd of people. And I loved it. But I don't know.

I was good at this social media stuff as well, but I never really thought that this is what I want to do. I wanted to be an architect. I wanted to my parents thought I mean, to be an architect.

Wow. It was one of those things that I said once when I was a kid and I held onto it so much and I thought, surely journalism or like a podcaster or a little marketing is not where I'm going to be. But then come to realize that those things that you've just always been doing from a kid that you overlook are the things that naturally relate to who you're supposed to be and who you are.

The signs are always there, but sometimes you try and it's almost like an oxymoron about life. I don't know if oxymoron is the word, but it's funny because life is almost like similarly, there are always signs you see from the beginning of who you are as a person that you don't really take seriously or you overlook until that moment comes and you actually really think about and ask yourself, who am I, really? And it starts to make sense. It all starts to make sense.

So I just wanted to interject and add on to that because I feel like that's very relatable. Yeah, it is. And I think it's another I remember my mom had issues with the whole jumping from one career idea to another.

She was like, when are you going to balance out? Yeah. The problem is when you're good at almost everything you get involved in, it's very easy for you to get dragged into different things. Right.

Like, you can be good at something, but that's not what you would make you. Exactly. It's not what will make you happy.

It's not what you would do every day that you wake up. Right. And yeah, so, like there was the whole music phase to the guitar.

Yeah. I feel like I played guitar too. Should I be a musician? Almost like entry in the stage of rock music and wanted to be a rock.

Exactly. Yeah, I wanted to be a rock star. But yeah, all this while I still had in the mind that I was going to learn how to make games.

I didn't think it was going to be a career or anything. Just, I'm going to learn how to make games. And it was actually the rock career now that kind of like shifted me towards tech.

Oh, the rock career. It was already a career now. Okay.

Sorry. Were you still in Nigeria at this? So this was my meetings. Yeah, meetings.

And we had like this rock band that we called So Lame. So Lame? Yeah. That was a rock band.

But where typical rock band name for that season. Yes. Our name is so lame.

We look at like Red Hot Chili Peppers? And why can't we call ourselves Soleil? And it just so happened, like the soul was actually spelt with a T. It just happened. That the anagram for all the names in the band, the guys in the band spelt out Soleil.

Right? Okay. So yeah, it was really cool. And then so we wanted to do like this.

I wanted to have like a website, right? And I was like, you know what, I'm going to build it. I've never built a website before. I just know there is Google and Google is going to figure it out.

For started actually before then I had learned that you could save websites. You could save the page and open it up in notepad and view the code. So what I'll do is I'll open it and then I'll delete a part of the code and reload the page and look for what changes.

Right. So basically that's how I was trying to understand what coding was. Of course, everyone knows Mac of text is not really coding, but that was my first foray into it.

So I decided I'm going to build the site I started. Back then you used dreamweaver. Dreamweaver was this tool that had also UI almost like weeks.

Yes. Right. So this was weeks before there was weeks.

So Dreamweaver kind of like but Dreamweaver wasn't like a web app. It's something you actually install on your computer and it could actually translate stuff into HTML text when you actually drag and drop stuff. So I did the first web page.

It was a single page. I was very proud of myself. Congrats.

I had no idea how to put it online. I probably needed to be carrying my laptop around to show everybody the website. But you learned something.

I did learn something and it was at that point that I was finishing high school. So I finished high school early. I finished high school at 16, which was actually anyway, let me not get into that story.

But yeah, I finished high school. I was finishing high school back then. And of course now the pressure to choose what you're going to study in Uni is there on you.

Right. At this point you want to do everything. Exactly.

I want to do rock music. I want to rap. I'm performing everywhere that I get the opportunity.

I'm just thinking back to those games. But it was good and it just led me towards this part of path of also my parents finding out like, I was best in visual arts in my graduating class. I was also really good at technical drawing.

So my parents are like, okay, these two add up to architecture. Right? If you put two and two together exactly. Architecture.

African way of thinking. This and this. Architecture, he's already done physics.

It's making sense. Yeah. Architecture is where he lies.

And honestly, I probably would have been up for studying architecture, but just because my parents chose it for me, I was like, you're not choosing my course for me, choosing my career for me. And I was just like against it just because I actually enjoyed it. Right.

I enjoyed drawing it came so naturally to me. I never had to work hard for it. I remember most of my classmates would stay up all night doing their drawings, right? And then I'll wake up in the middle of the night while they are doing their drawing.

I'll get up, I'll do mine because we have to submit it in the morning. I'll do mine in like 30 minutes, right? I'll just walk around, look at theirs. I go back, I do mine.

I close it up while they're still on theirs. I close mine up, I go to sleep. And I won't be higher than them, but I'll be very close.

For me, honestly, throughout high school, I didn't care if all I wanted to do was not fail, right? As long as I was doing well. That's what we were conditioned to. So all I wanted to do was not fail, right? So as long as I was doing reasonably well in class, I didn't care.

My class was actually rated the best class in the entire state, right? So even if you have all B's, you could be, like, mid of the class, right? Yeah. You know what? As long as we are all performing well, it's okay. Yeah.

So because of my stubbornness to not do architecture, I found out you could actually study computer you could actually study computer science in Uni. In Uni. And I was like, Sign me up.

My dad was like, Is this lucrative? Back then, like, this whole big news of startups making cashing out all over hadn't come, right. It was just Mark Zuckerberg at the time, right? He was the famous tech story, right? And that was just one person. It wasn't like it was spread out all over.

So this was 2010. Even Facebook was coming into Africa. Just like, coming into Africa properly back then.

So they were really worried that I was choosing computer science. Computer science. That's the thing about tech, okay? Right now, at least you can see the vision.

But you really had to be very futuristic for you to see. The first day, he sent me an article of I think it was Evans Pigel, right? The guy for no, is it Evans Spiegel? The guy for snapchat. When Snapchat was worth like 3 billion or something, my dad sent me the article.

He was like, there's money in this. They really need to know, where is the money? It's all from love. Just make sure that you're okay.

Of course. Now you've decided you're doing computer science in Uni. Was this in Lagos that you were going to so I was born in Lagos, but I grew up in I lived, like, the first four years of my life in Lagos when I was a kid.

And then we moved up north not up north. We moved north of Nigeria to Joss Plateau State. So I grew up in Plateau State.

Look at me. Just assuming everybody that I know from Nigeria lives in Lagos. Yeah.

And I'm from Anambra States. Anambra States. You guys need to know the name of that.

Grew up. I always knew I wasn't going to go to school in Nigeria. Like uni in Nigeria.

I was actually supposed to go. I wanted to go to high school, even in SA. But then my dad conned me.

He kept on telling me, you're going to come next year. You're going to come next year until I finish high school. That's the typical again, very typical African parent behavior.

So by the time I finished high school, then he was like, and I got an admission to a university in Cyprus. And then he was like, I don't like that place. Come to South Africa.

And I'm like, you know what? I'm not going to Africa just because you said, now we are going to kid. Yeah. So I ended up in Cyprus studying computer information systems.

I did that for around three years, living in Cyprus. And that was when I actually got into so computer information systems, like mis here. So you do business courses and computer science courses.

So it's kind of like evened out. So the first few semesters, like first year actually, you barely do any computer courses. You just do business courses.

And I just wanted to write code. Right? I didn't care about the business courses. I would do well in them.

For some reason, I got so good at school after high school. It was ridiculous. I don't know how it happened, but somehow it happened.

You were just naturally smart. I did really well with them, but I knew I wanted to do computer courses. And then after the first semester, I didn't see a computer course.

Of course, every other student will probably go and look at the catalog and be like, oh, this is when we start the computer courses. Right? I didn't care enough to go check all of that. I just like, beginning of the semester, they tell us the courses we're doing and I cool.

I'll go to class, I'll do well, and then I leave. Right? Never studied anything. It just came so naturally to me.

And lucky for me, because, Jesus, I would have flunked out of Uni. It seems that you were just like, mostly vibes, but thank goodness you were passing. I honestly was just mostly vibes, but I just knew I was waiting for the computer course.

Sorry, before we get any further into this conversation, at this point, what is Toby thinking his career is going to be? Or are we still not thinking about that? Is this now you making the decision that I think I want to build code and become an engineer? Yeah. So I knew I wanted to be an engineer, but I also knew I didn't want to really I wanted to do startups. I wasn't thinking like, dreaming about Google and stuff like that.

I always knew I wanted to build that product of my own. And I was thinking and then I checked, I go online. That part I was good at.

I did the research and stuff like that. I always thought about like, okay, so I remember growing up, we had this I don't know, there's this thing where we just like, want to know who's the richest person in the world? I don't know if it's everyone. Yeah.

Honestly, I didn't have that. But the videographer behind the camera is really agreeing with me. I remember even before the Internet came, like, when I was probably like six, seven, I would ask adults, who's the beachest person in the world? And they're like, Why do you want to know? I'm like, I want to know.

I need to know where I'm planning my life towards. And I'll see like, videos of Michael Jackson. I hear he was like nine when he started music.

I'm like, okay, cool. And he has all this money. Maybe that's the way and you have the rock background.

At this time, I didn't know how to play the guitar, but I knew how to sing. I knew how to sing. So you can sing? Yeah.

Are you actually just good at everything that you do? I'm a little bit above average in most things that I do. Okay. Yeah.

That's a really good thing to have. I think you're blessed with that way, honestly. Yeah.

I don't take it for granted, even though I did at the earlier stages of my life. I just figured, like, oh, yeah, this is just like it's normal. Yeah, it's normal when you start to realize when you mingle with people, people really struggle with some of these things.

Yeah. Or when you get older and some of those things you can't do anymore. Right.

Or when you get sick and you lose some part of it. Right. Football was really good, but then got sick and then at some point and then breathing became a problem, so I couldn't run for lung or run well, I used to anymore.

Or when you get older and bigger and then your speed goes down and you're like, holy smokes, I'm no longer there are people that are actually slow. I'm one of them now. Yeah, but you don't realize that there are people that are actually slower than others when you're a kid who's just, like, fast playing the game and just enjoying yourself.

Yeah. So I did my research and I saw all these guys lost stake in their company because they had to raise funds and things like that. So how do I build my own tech company without losing control of the company? Right now I'm watching the Steve Jobs movie and seeing how he was kicked out of the company, and I'm like, okay, maybe I'm going to play football, make money from football for capital for my tech company.

Right. Wow. So the capital was coming from so actually I tried some trials.

For some teams. Problem was in north Cyprus, which is where I am. So most people don't know this, but Cyprus is divided into two by an actual wall.

Right. Like the wall of Berlin. I think it's the only country I think that actually has like an actual like right now that is still separating north and south of the same people.

Wow. Yeah. So I was in Cyprus and northern Cyprus is an extension of Turkey.

Right. So you don't get like the Schengen visa and all of that. I couldn't go to the south, which is like Schengen visa, but the guys in the south could come into the northern because of the deal, I guess that Turkey has already with Europe, right? Yeah.

So I got tryouts in the south, but I couldn't go the north. They had this rule where in the first teams they only allowed like two foreigners. Most teams already had their foreigner quota field.

Right. And when you were applying for schools in Cyprus, this is something you yeah, I didn't know. I didn't do that research, but I had it in my actually, I was going to go to Cyprus as like a stop way to move to London, because I was just like, you know, I'm just going to try and get to Chelsea.

That's so disappointing. But I think it was a point in my life where I actually learned so much and I grew so much. I moved to Cyprus when I was 17.

I moved alone, went there, started like a new life, no family members. I knew two people there before I got there who were also like young people in their twenty s. The life, everything went on well and I learned so much in that process.

I grew so much. I remember when I went home the first time after three years. Yeah.

My mom was like she was surprised at who I became. I went from this kid yeah, you left 17, who was like really lazy, wouldn't do anything unless you're paying me from when I was a kid, unless you're paying me. I wouldn't do house chores, I wouldn't do nothing.

My parents had so much issues with that. Yeah. Now I was the one going around making sure that the doors were locked at night and all of that.

So yeah, that was where my career I wrote my first lines of actual code in C in 2013 and I just never turned back since then. Yes. Okay.

That's very interesting to see the journey from you now being a footballer, which I think you soon realized this is not going to come to a reality. And then now fully accepting that this tech thing is where you want to be and where you want to start building products. So now when you got your first opportunity, work wise into the tech space or to building your first product or okay, not your first product because I'm sure by the time you got the job you already had, built a couple of things, built a number of products.

Walk us through that journey of getting to now, your first job, and maybe the realizations you made to get to now, like, maybe this is not what I want to do. Did you end up moving countries to pursue some job opportunities? Or did you realize that I want to keep building my own product? And then how did you get into this company that you work for right now as the lead engineer? Yeah, my story is very long, so I'm not going to go into the nitty gritties of everything that happened. You can give us some tidbits.

Yeah. So I ended up in Kenya. As a result of the current regime, the outgoing regime in Nigeria right now, I was actually going to move to Canada.

I decided to go to Canada, start school again. Afresh for another undergrad? Yes, another undergrad. So you did two undergrad? So I didn't finish the one in Cyprus.

I've actually been thinking, maybe I should just go, just finish because I left in the third year. Yeah. But anyway, I wanted to move to Canada because I felt like Cyprus was really slow for me.

I didn't see a lot of future staying in Cyprus. I wanted to go to Canada. And so my dad agreed.

He paid for my flight, I went home. And then he gave me money to go to Canada and start Afresh. That's crazy.

Yeah. But I wasn't even worried about that. I wasn't worried.

I knew what the goal was. I always knew what the goal was at that point. I just knew what the goal was to get into Canada, try to build startups, do school on the side, honestly, and just try to build startups.

So I went to Applied at the embassy. I got my admission, everything. And then now the mistake I made was I put the money in Naira.

And then one day we just someday in the afternoon, mid 2016, naira got devalued by a ridiculous amount. I think it was around like 300% or something. And yeah, that was it.

I just didn't have enough money to go to school anymore. Yeah. I thought, where's the quickest place that I could where's the next place I could go to? And it just happened to be on the news.

They're talking about Mpesa and how the technology is revolutionizing fintech in East Africa. And I saw the body tech community in Kenya. I thought, you know what, why not just move to Nairobi? You know what I like about this story is that you just make decisions based on one small detail.

And you're like, I think this is okay. Maybe not just one small detail, but it takes a lot for someone, to some people, to decide to live where they've built their life or where they've built connections and just uproot it and move somewhere else. But for you, it almost felt like, I'm making this decision and I'm going with it and let's go, let's move to this different country.

Let's start a new life somewhere different. And just to I know you didn't want to get we don't want to get too much into it, but what was that moment you realized that you can't proceed with school or I mean, did you realize that I also can't stay in Canada now that I'm not going to have the student visa? What was that feeling? What was that process? Did you just automatically say, okay, what's the next plan? Or was there a moment where you were confused, like, what is it that I'm doing now? Everything's not going as I expected it to. You went to Cyprus to be a footballer to get funding for this didn't work out as you planned, so you thought the next best move was to move to Canada.

Then all this is happening in Canada. I feel like that was also a lot to go through for someone who started at 17 and then now you're early 20s, but all this is happening in your life, which is a lot compared to what normal, regular people around that age are experiencing. So how did you navigate that process and did you use it as fuel or what was it like? It's an interesting question.

I think I went through so much in Cyprus that it just made making these decisions really easy. Like they felt like they were the easy part of life. Right? If things don't work here, let's move on, right? Yeah, let's get it.

I just had that mentality. There's this thing my people say. They say that where there is life, there is hope.

And it's this thing that they always tell us, like as kids. But I took it very personally, right? It's this thing that's what they tell you when they give you those. I don't know if it's like cultural bits on okay.

In our culture, suicide is not like a thing because where there's life, there is hope, right? And my mom has this story that she would tell us as kids, like bedtime story kind of thing about this guy who was going to kill himself. She's saying it's in our language, right? Because these are stories that have been passed down through generations, right? And it's this guy who had gone to hang himself and he climbs up the tree and when he's about to hang himself, he hears a cry from down, right? And it's this person who is a cripple and can barely walk and has to stay under that tree all the time for people to bring them food that is crying. And he sings a song, okay, let me not sing it.

But he goes, the man climbing the tree let me just translate like the man climbing the tree or the big man climbing the tree. Look at me and please don't fall on me, right? When my parents gave birth to me, they gave birth to me, a cripple and they left me in the forest to die. Right? And the moral of the story is like, this person who was born a cripple and was left out in the forest to die is not trying to like they don't want to die.

They don't want to die. And you, who is like an able bodied person, has climbed the tree to commit suicide. And because of that, the cry of that person, he came down and he didn't commit suicide.

And that story just rung in a different way. So everything that went on in Cyprus, everything that I went through, it just got me to like, as long as I'm alive, there is always hope. And it's just like, what's the next thing? What's the next option? You're not going to sit down and wallow in whatever is going on right now.

You're going to find the next thing to do and you're going to just keep chasing life. I know this is veering a bit off into the tech story, but with regards to what you say, do you think that in some ways that mentality, in as much as it's good can also there's this common saying that men are emotionless or you keep the ball rolling, but a lot is eating you up inside. True.

So do you feel that enables the narrative of keep pushing, don't look back, keep moving, but not really address how you're feeling internally and potentially have mental health issues these days are a big thing. The way is life. There is always hope philosophy.

I completely, 100% agree with it. I think it's a good thing to have to keep you going. But also I'm looking at both sides of the coin, the balance.

We're trying to move in a space where men should be more vocal about what they're going through or what's bothering them. Even if you're moving. We are moving with purpose.

We are moving with trying to address the day to day issues that men do actually experience but are always afraid to talk about. So was that I don't know if you want to talk about it on a personal level, was that something you were really considering? Like, how do I still take care of myself even if I'm moving? Or did you just turn a blind eye and keep it moving? Or just what do you have to say about the situation that men experience? Such I think there's no one size fits all. Yes.

And people cope in different ways. You just need to make sure that whatever your coping mechanism is, it isn't one that would come to hunt you later and sometimes you won't know. Right? So it takes maybe like one breakdown and then you're like, okay, maybe this is not the way to go about it.

That's true. And sometimes it also goes by age. Right? So maybe when you're younger, you're more foolish.

Right. I use foolish in a very conservative way. Right, but you're more enthusiastic and happy about life, right? Yeah.

In points like that in your life, when things happen, at least for me, I found it better to keep moving to know, okay, yes, it's happened, and this is horrible, but I'm still alive and I'll keep moving. Right. And I'll move to the next.

And I'll move to the next. When you are homeless and without a place to live, if you have a computer, you still write code. Right.

When your computer gets stolen and you don't have anything, but you have a phone, you download whatever you can use to write code on your phone. Right. These are things that I did.

I just knew what the goal was. And I really enjoyed this thing. Honestly.

It was really fun for me. I think when it comes to the mental health thing, you have to find something that makes you happy and isn't destructive. And I found that in.

Even if not, I wasn't playing football professionally, watching football, listening to music, working, writing code and stuff, that was just like just knowing that even if things didn't feel like they were going towards a certain place, I was working towards something. So regardless, I was working towards something. Okay, that's very interesting.

And I think that summarizes that gives a good response to motivate people who are listening, who may be in a similar situation when they're maybe country hopping or trying to figure things out and keep it moving. So now you touched down Nairobi. Tell us how now you got into AI Care and building that product, but also if you had anything in between that led you up to this moment.

Yeah, so AI care happened as a result of so when I came to Nairobi I came to Nairobi. I was already building the idea for another startup that I had from home because I actually came to Nairobi from like I got to the airport, had all the normal issues that Nigerians have at the airport with the border security guys, people trying to extort you for money, police officers, all that. If you're listening to this podcast and thinking of coming to Nairobi based on some of it, just know some bad eggs.

But honestly, I think even you go to any African country. Yeah, maybe because Nigeria is worse, right? I'm not going to lie. It's probably worse.

But yeah, I think Nigeria is just different in a way that if you're a foreigner, they would do it in kind of like a nice way. They try to get money out of you by sweet talking you. Kenya is more of a hostile, kind of like, takeover when it comes to trying to get money out of yazafari.

Especially when they can smell that you're new. But anyway, I get to the airport, it's really late. The only contact I have in kenya is not picking their call.

So I stayed at the airport from 11:00 p.m. To 08:00 a.m. The next day, and I was just like I just sat at a Java there.

I was coding. This was 2017. In the morning, I tried to find a hotel to just go rest my head, and that's when they were calling me.

So I went to Day Star, and I ended up having to find my way to Day Star. Like, just my phone, the maps. I left my things in the hotel, and I just put it on the maps.

I asked around. I couldn't take Uber because the cab guy who I used in Nigeria, the last Uber I used, put that he didn't state that I paid him his money, I guess. Exactly.

So Uber thought I owed them money. I'm like, I'm way too stubborn to pay you guys. Like, I'm going to figure my way around Nairobi.

So I went to Railways for the first time, and I'm like, what country have I come to? Well, that being one of your first stops is not ideal, but first stop is not ideal. So I get to Railways, I'm like, God, where is this? And then I tell them I'm going to atiriva. They put me on a bus.

The bus starts taking me to Kitangela, and I'm looking on the map. I'm like, okay, this is not where the map is telling me, right? So I have to come down. I take a bike.

I don't know if you've been to Daystar, right? So when you get to Dev Key, you have to go through if you're going through Dev Key, you have to go through Mavoco, right? Like, this desertificated area or something. This guy's taking me there's, like, trees here. I can't see civilization.

I'm like, oh, my God, I'm being kidnapped. But I'm looking at the map, and it's telling me, like, they start offering. I'm like, okay, what school has this girl told me to apply to? It wasn't even the Nairobi.

This was campus, because that was the only way there was computer science. And then I get there, and then I see the gate. I'm like, wow, that's the gate I actually saw online.

These guys didn't take pictures of the surrounding. They didn't tell us. They show you what they want you to see.

So I went there, and then if you're leaving and you're going through the other road, now you see, like, zebras, wild beasts. I'm like, wow, I've come to school in a conservatory, and this is, like, my first time seeing a zebra in my entire life, right? Yeah. I'm like, wow.

So I actually take pictures and I send home. I'm like, Yo, guys, look at what's happening. Yeah.

And I went to daystar. At some point, I ended up having to pay my way through Daystar myself. After the first year, my parents kind of just checked out.

I literally called them. I was like, I don't have money. You figure it out.

My dad tried to help from time to time, but then I had to find a way. Of course I don't have a job. Work permits cost a lot in Kenya for internationals.

For people who don't know, it's around $2,000 a year, and you have to pay for two years, and then you also have to pay for the agency. So everything comes at around like, $6,000 to get the work permits. And of course, where am I getting $6,000 at that point? Yeah.

So I'm like, this is not happening. So I had to find a way to get money. So a lot of freelance on Fiver also trying to so were you getting opportunities on Fiver? Yeah, I had a friend who had a really good Fiver account, and he always get reached out to by people who are trying to hire.

And so he passed the jobs to me when he got ones that maybe he was too busy and stuff. So from there, I started gaining some experience on Fiverr and even getting reviews. Right.

I still have five star reviews on congratulations. I tried Fiver or it does not work for that much lucratively in the marketing. Yeah.

I think even for tech, you need to have a really good account, and you have yeah, you have to be also, if you have people who started very early right, who already have high ratings, it's good to talk to them and then they refer you to okay, yes. Okay, that makes sense. So that's how I got fiver.

I tried some other startups. I did some hackathons trying to get funding and things like that. All of that will go burst.

I'll go to the next startup to go bust. I'll go to the next startup, and I remember going to okay, so I just tried my best to get some money, right? Because I had to pay rent, I had to buy food, I had to do school. So I just tried to get all of that rolling, and the school needed someone.

So by this time, I had applied. Actually, first I was teaching students in school, so I offered to help teach Introduction to Computer Science, which was C programming. Right? Introduction to C, actually, in school.

And I talked to one of the teachers. I was like, Can I be your teacher's assistant? Right. And he was happy to do it.

And I started teaching, and some people saw pictures or videos of me teaching, and they're like, well, you should try applying for the Google Developer Students Program. Okay. So I applied.

I didn't know it was like a big thing. I didn't even know it was like a global it's a Google thing. Yeah.

I just thought it was going to be one of those things where they just send you PDFs or something to help teach. I'm not thinking it's actually a theme thing, you know, and then I got in. One of like 100 students were picked across universities in Africa.

Wow. So that was exciting. And then next time I'm hearing, they're like, oh, we're going to Ghana.

I'm like, you guys are going to pay for flight for us to go to Ghana. All expense paid trip. Just make your way to the airport.

I'm like, wow, this is the life. Now we're talking. So we went, came back, and when I was going at that time, it turned out we had like, a new VC at daystar who was also trying to make a name.

And he has one of his students is going on this all expense pay trip to Ghana. And he was really happy about it. Like, he announced in school, now you're famous.

Yes, and I'm famous for the right things. Now, they also had the student elections going on that were coming up, and they had changed the constitution to match the Kenyan constitution. And they wanted an app which needed to be, like, built from ground up for voting.

Right. So I actually started building the app without having any agreements with them. And then you presented yes, I built everything, presented it to them.

They were happy. They asked me to meet up with some of the heads of the school. So like VC of finance VC academics.

I did the presentation. They were happy. And then they told the VC, like, the system is good, everything works.

It does what they want it to do and all of that. So the school came to me and they were like, how much do I want for the system? Right? So at first I had told them I wanted 70,000 shillings. Kenyan shillings? Yeah.

Ridiculous. Can you be serious? I know, but then I did that because I had a set of bills I needed to pay at that time. And I was thinking maybe I could actually just use it to pay the bills.

But then I went back and I thought to myself, I was like, okay, you still have school fees to pay. You have all these things. Why would you sell it for that for 70,000? When they called me the next time, they're like, so how much do you think you want to sell the system for? I just told them, have you guys seen my school balance? They're like, no.

I'm like, yeah, I don't want to pay school fees anymore. Yeah. And at this time, I had like 300,000 shillings plus in school debt that was going to school, and I had to pay.

And I'm thinking like, where am I going to pay this money from? I also have rent to pay. They were like, cool. And I just opened my portal one day and I saw I had like zero shillings.

Wow, you coded your way out. Yeah. So I didn't pay school fees again from 2020 till 2021 like the rest of my studies, which was a couple of semesters that probably added up to probably like 600,000.

Yeah. I ended up not paying anything. And yeah, even my graduation fee was handled by the school.

Oh my God. And then they just gave me more work to do over. So now I'm coming to the end of school and my uncle is hitting me up.

He's like, you're almost done with school. You should come to the States, right? Let's plan for how you're going to come to the States. I was really happy about the idea, but then I'm still doing freelance.

Like, lots of freelance, right? Like, I'm doing at least three freelance jobs at a time to make money. And then now I'm actually having more money than most students would have. Right.

Still being a student. And rent is no longer a know. Going out, coming to Nairobi, trying out new restaurants.

Now you're living a nice life. I'm finally getting chubby. It was kind of like, good, I'm sending money home to my siblings.

I got the call asking me if I would want to talk to some guys. They're looking for a founding engineer. And actually they didn't tell me it was a founding engineer job.

They just told me they're looking for someone. So I'm thinking it's a freelance job. And I have like three at this time.

So I'm like I'm too swarmed. But I'm like, you know what, I go with that. Same mindset of the money.

You don't know where it's going to fit into the schedule, but we'll make it fit. Yeah. So I had the call with them.

It turned out it was something I could do within a short period of time, I got it done. So did you go to the US to do oh, this was the Nairobi one. Okay.

So it was something that could be done in like two weeks, actually. Like, they just needed a new module. Right? So I was like, actually I put it two weeks because they needed it quick and I got it done.

I actually got paid for it. And that was basically like an interview for the job. Right? Do you know it was an interview for the job? They told me if it goes well, then maybe we could talk about having you full time.

Yeah. And then luckily for me, Jaime, who was CTO and co founder of AI Care, so this was yes, yes. Okay.

Yeah. So he liked my work. He felt we worked good together.

And he told the CEO, that author. And so they called me and they're like, yeah, they would like us to continue working if I would be open to it. And I told them, yeah, I just need some time to round up some of the freelance jobs that I have because I don't want to leave my clients hanging.

That's true. Exactly. So they're like, cool.

This was early mid December 2020, and I basically just did like a sprint and I was done with most of the freelance jobs by first week of January. Wow. Yeah.

I gave it to the guys. They were happy with it. And yeah, on the 4 January 2021, I started officially remember the date at AIK? Yeah.

It's in my contract. So got to remember when your ESOP starts counting, I hear you came pretty nice. I felt like it was a pretty good offer for someone who was just finishing uni.

It also came with ESOP. And I was just happy. I was like, okay, yeah, maybe it's not a company that I came up with the idea, but I get to build the infrastructure, I get to lay the foundation, and I also get some ownership in the company.

So your mark in the company is still going to be there, your presence is going to be felt. Yeah. And also, I also had these dreams of being like an investor and all of that.

And I don't have money to invest, but I have time to invest. Right. So I'm like, okay, I see myself as an investor who pays his dues, who pays, who invests via time.

Right. So a lot of the other projects that I kept on taking on, even when it comes to freelance jobs or side jobs that I do, I always come with the mindset of, okay, this is me investing time in my youth to own an ownership stake in this company because, yes, I don't have, like, $20,000, $100,000, $5 million or whatever that the company needs in funding, but I can give them my time in exchange for some beat of the company. I like what you've just said, and one of the things that I really carry hold very dearly is luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

And you never stopped coding even when you were going through the struggles in Cyprus and Canada. I think the opportunities you got in Kenya from even just taking yourself to build that product for them to see before they've even asked for it, to getting coding your way out of that debt situation that you had. So I really think that is a huge takeaway from your story.

And your experience is that I was already prepared for this opportunity when it was going to come. And the second thing is people can hold on so much to what you were holding on to for a very long time, that I must build a product that is mine solely. That's the only way to go.

There's nothing less that you're going to take other than that, but also realizing that, okay, you can modify that thinking to still something that is going to work in your benefit and still hold your philosophies or your standing, basically, because you have to think, is it really my core? My core is to build. Exactly. And is it ego to want to build out your ideas only? Right.

Must it be you who started the company. Exactly right, I think. Yeah.

Sorry. You really need to confront your ego at that time to really know that maybe this is not yet the time for me to build what I want to build. But your impact, again, like you said, investing in your time, your youth to get one, the financial opportunities and doors it was going to open for you, but also get you to where you want to be, where you are today to get you to where you want to become eventually.

Yeah. Another thing is, I think it's easier to do that, to get that clarity of you, basically, when the mission of the company aligns with yours. Right.

AI Care is a telematics company, right? We do AI based on vehicle telemetry, mostly. So, like insurance. So basically we see ourselves as an insurer tech and smart mobility company.

Right. But one thing that when I was told about the idea for the company and all of that, I found different bits and pieces of different startups that I had tried to build in the past. Like an experience that I have, building stuff.

Exactly. So it was like, yes, I built this ambulance Request system, emergency Request System. Right.

And it didn't go out on to be what I wanted it to be, even though it worked and everything. However, AI Care is incorporating this in a different way. Right.

So if someone gets an accident, we automatically call an ambulance to give them information about where you are and all of that. If you've given us your personal information, we can also relay and permission to relate to them. We can relate to them and they come and rescue you.

So that gets that part out. That built an asset management system, right? So the vehicle management system came in from that side. The only thing I hadn't built is like an actual insurance system.

I've always been interested in IoT, right? And we have this IoT device that passes data to us and we crunch that data. Right. I had interest in ML and machine learning and AI.

And then there's also this bit of, okay, what do we do with this data and how do we interpret this data? How do we create the driving scores that we create for insurers or whatever? So all of that just kind of came in and it's like, okay, this is a product that has been built out by has been thought out by people who have way more experience than I have. People who have both age wise and job wise. They've done stuff.

They've been through the Antler program. Because I joined just as we were leaving the Antler program, right? They've been through the Antla program. They've gained this knowledge from these other people.

Right. I talk to these people and I see how smart they are. Right.

I always want to work with smart people. So this is like a win win situation. I also get paid to do it and you get paid to do it.

Exactly. So, honestly, you can't discount any part of the journey because it all really came together, what it is now. And I really like that.

And I really like the takeaway from this story that you've given us or your story that you've given us. I'm feeling very inspired, honestly, to hear how you just said fuck it, and just went even when it felt like me, I don't know if I would have had the strength with some of the things that I could only imagine in your journey experience before things now started looking up in the data side of things. But it also just comes to show that you really just need to work your way to get to where you really want to.

I think it looks very easy from when you're looking from outside and when you're not in there and you don't see. So it looks like some people get it really easy or things just work out for them miraculously, but you're not thinking, oh, this person has a $10,000 job, but they've put out maybe like 10,000 applications to different companies. They've done 100 or 50 interviews, and then they ended up with that one job that was successful overnight.

Success is never overnight. Exactly. Honestly, just like all of that coming together, it's been really eye opening.

And you have people who, because they care about you, right? It's not like they hate you or anything. They will ask you questions like, what is all this for? I remember in Uni, when everyone is out there having fun, they're going out and things like that. And I'm like, I'm working.

They're like, you're working, but where's the money? And you start questioning yourself, but where is the money? Post videos of myself, like coding or work or what I'm doing and things like that. And I'll get texts, be like, you're always working, but we're not seeing the money. And I just keep on telling them, it's coming, it's coming, it's coming, it's coming.

And then those same people, even though you're not where you want to be yet, but you're getting closer to that goal. When they see that, it's like, oh, wow, yeah, it's making sense. And one of them actually told me, so they have a job, but they don't have a really nice they don't have a nice job, and things are not looking like the way that they thought it was going to look after Uni, right? So they just went to school, got really good grades, and they felt like that was going to be enough to get them the jobs that they want or the jobs that they need.

Never like that. Yeah. And they actually told me and they said that they wish they put in the effort to learn things and actually get there and actually start working before they finish.

And I always tell uni students this. I'm like, Start applying for jobs in your last year before you finish uni. It's way easier to get into the job to get a job if you're coming because they're going to want to look for experience and you're wondering, where is everyone getting this experience from people who are getting jobs? And if you apply while you're university students rather than after you're done with uni, what I find is that companies are more willing to listen to you because they already know this person is coming to learn.

They're not looking for a certain kind of experience, but once you have that certificate, now they're expecting experience. I don't know why it's like that, because I remember in uni applying to Google, going through the entire process and getting to the very last process, to the point where the point where when you don't get it, they actually have to call you and tell you, yeah, this is why you're not getting it. I went through around like, seven different steps of different types of interviews for the Google job, right till the last point.

And then when you don't get it, they call you. They're like, okay, you did really well. But then maybe there was just like one question and we have like 1000 other applicants, right? Even like, people pass.

It's always something. Yeah, because you pass Google completely and they keep you in a waiting list to get into the company sometimes. But if you start doing that now while you're done with uni, then you get really frustrated because work is not coming you're at home, but if you're doing it while you're in school, you still have class.

Like, it's okay if I get it's, okay if I don't. Exactly. And most times you will actually get something before.

I agree. Thank you so much for that. I think this has been a very insightful conversation.

And yes, I think there's a lot to take in that I'm going to I think this has been the longest episode recording that I've had, actually, which says a lot about your journey as well, honestly. But I'm not complaining. I think I'm just going to close normally when I'm closing off the episodes, I ask my guests four closing questions just so that we can summarize everything into the proper way.

So I'm just going to ask you four questions. The first one is what is one word to describe the journey to get to where you are today and why? Perseverance. Perseverance, I think you can be smart, you can be talented, but if you don't, persevere.

And perseverance, of course, includes, like, hard work, right? You persevere in the hard work. You persevere in the learning. You persevere in what you want to do, like where you want to get to.

And just perseverance means for me, everything, right? Like knowing when to pivot and focus on a different angle to get to the goal, right. Perseverance is it for me. The second question that I'm going to throw at you is what advice would you give to someone who is basically aspiring to get to where you are today? Or someone who may be looking to become an engineer is having a bit of a tough time to figure out the funding situation or all that? What advice would you give? Yeah.

For being an engineer? I think the best idea would be to get started. That's how you'll find out if you really love it, because it's not just about being smart or knowing. It's just practice.

Practice. Right. Like, it's also the fact that this is it can get it can get boring if you don't love it.

Right? I remember I used to sit for, like, 18 hours on a stool, right? I didn't have money to get, like, a proper chair in my dorm room, so I'll sit on a stool. I remember a friend of mine actually brought me a plastic chair from their house. They're like, you're going to mess up your back, so just use this.

So I stayed using that chair. But if I didn't love it, I wouldn't have been able to spend all that time doing coding and doing all that stuff, knowing that it's not like I'm getting any money right now. Of course, there was the belief that maybe I'll be able to do this startup, go to the next stage or something, but that of course, it had failed two, three times.

Right? But then I still went the fourth time, the fifth time. Right. The only way I could have gone like that was because first, of course, the perseverance and then the fact that I love it.

So I'd say, just find out if you love it. And if you love it, just persevere. And the only way for you to find out if you love it is and I don't think that's just for engineers.

I think that's for everything, you need to just start get to it and find out what it actually means having this interest. Yeah. And I think a lot of people also don't realize that.

I tell people this when people start coding, they want to learn how to build stuff and build this application in two months. And I'm like, first, this is a completely new language you're learning. When you were born, it took you how long for you to be able to learn a lot, actually, to be able to talk, right? And even when you learned how to talk, it wasn't up till you were like, maybe like six, seven, that your tongue was actually stable.

And then now then when you get to your teens, that's when you're actually able to make proper deep sentences or come up with deep words, but you want to learn how to code and be the best at it in two months. Come on. It's not going to happen.

But it's quicker, right? It's quicker than learning how to speak or you can actually get there in maybe like two years, three years. But you could build your first product in the first six months or the first four months, depending on how you basically absorb information, right. And how much time you're able to actually dedicate to it.

So if you do all of those and you actually love it because you could get really good at it, but you don't love it, people do that, right. They get really good at things that they don't love. And I think that's just frustration.

Your set can get frustrating because it's a lifetime of this one thing you don't like to do. Yeah, okay, that makes sense. I think the third question, I have more questions to ask you.

And the third one is, do you think you have any regrets or things that you wish you could have done better? Why? There isn't a lot I have that I regret. I try my best not to regret anything. I honestly don't even regret this.

But I'd say if I was starting out again now with the knowledge that I have, I would get into the tech communities. Earlier I had this notion because of watching movies like Hackers Social Network, that all you need to do is just sit down in some room somewhere and build this product. And then you become a billionaire.

You get people to use it. It doesn't work like that. They don't show you the parts where after building that stuff, this person had to go walk into multiple boardrooms to get funding or the fact that they had to work with other engineers and things like that.

And how much faster you grow in the community if you get involved in you grow in your tech sorry. If you get involved in communities. Right, sorry.

Do you have any recommendations on how someone could get into the tech communities? Yeah, I think you can just look around yourself. Some of the most popular tech communities, which I have actually been a member of, or like a lead at some point in, is like DEVC, which is Facebook by Facebook. But the biggest one, I guess is like the Google Developer program.

If you get into any of the GDGS around you, google Developer groups around you, that's one really good way to get started. If you want to get into more, you let's say you're interested in security, right? You could look at Africa HackON or maybe a lady who is getting into tech and you'll be more comfortable around women in tech, right. Maybe you want to do women tech makers or she hacks for security.

And I know there's this whole thing around, oh, let's all be one, let's not separate women into one place and all of that. But we should also understand that some people need a certain environment to grow. And these environments are important for these women, especially ones who don't feel comfortable because maybe of maybe something that's happened in their past or whatever, it's really important that they have these communities.

And she hacks Hafika. Hack on. They do a really good job.

I was a mentor and a tutor on she Codes, which is a startup. It's also a tech community startup by Ada Oyom, who is a friend of mine in Nigeria, and it's all across Africa right now. Could they be a guest on my podcast? Yeah, I could link you.

Guys like me. Sounds like a very good initiative. They have over thousands of students and people who have actually shown that you can actually do this.

So there are people from there who have ended up at really big companies, like Fortune 500 companies, and this thing is just a few years old, and it just shows you the work that these tech communities do. Right? Wow. Yeah.

So get into the tech community. I'm taking that as well. I'm taking that advice to get more into the tech communities.

Okay, we're going to close off the episode with this. So give us a powerful parting shot or just something that you feel would round up your conversation or your tech story the best way possible. Wow, that's a hard one.

What can I think of something? Like what? It could be a quote. It could be another piece of advice. Anything you want it to be.

How do you want to close off your episode? Yeah. I guess if I go by my story and what I actually have experienced in what I've experienced and what I feel like I am more able to speak on, is that no matter what is going on in your life. And I know people say this, and it sounds like a tad bit like it sounds like this cliche, that thing that people say, but no matter what is going on in your life, just keep going.

And this doesn't mean that of course you don't take care of your mental health and all of that, but as difficult as it may seem, right, just keep going. Because the light at the end of the tunnel isn't always something that you'd see, right? It's light. You should see it.

But sometimes it's until it's right in front of your face here that you finally see it. Because if I could just add to that, even like with AI Care, right? The person who introduced me to AI Care, he actually got to know about me through an interview for another company that I did. I did an interview for APA.

I passed. I did everything. Well, they had an offer, but they had the issue with the work permit.

Right. This was like the third time it was happening with the work permit thing where I have been told, come, they're like, bring contracts less than and they're like, Wait, how are you in Kenya? I'm like, on a student visa so you can't work. I'm like, Unless I get the work permit.

Okay. Most companies don't want to pay 600,000 plus shillings to get you the work permit, right? So even in the disappointment of not getting that job, I got something even better. Yes, right.

Or even in the disappointment of not getting that job, you even got something better. So sometimes, again, this is something that people say and it sounds like a cliche, but even in disappointment there is a silver lining. You find that thing like something happens that just takes you and until it happens, you don't see why.

So I just live life these days when I maybe try something out or they say, put out a request for proposal for something and I put out the request and I don't get it or whatever, as long as I know that I put in my best effort, I guess that's what I would say, right? Put in your best effort. As long as I know I put in my best effort, I just feel at peace. Even when it doesn't work.

Even if it doesn't work out. Because again, there's always something positive to take away. Even if it didn't work out, you gained experience, you met the people that you met.

There's always something to take away from those experiences. Thank you so much, Toby, for coming to this podcast and giving us the bag full of knowledge that you've shared with our audience today. Please make sure to if you have any useful links that you think our audience should follow up with you on or if they want to keep in touch with your progress.

I say this before in previous episodes, but I like to believe that the guests who come onto this platform, they are just either at the beginning or in the middle of their journeys, but success is beyond what they are right now in this moment. So very excited to see how your journey keeps coming into fruition and keeps growing because it's only up from here and I'm just wishing you nothing but the best. And yes, for all of you who are listening, please, if you enjoy this conversation, keep the conversation going.

Tell me. Sorry. Not tell me, but leave your comments down below and share your thoughts with us and maybe about the conversation that we've just had or just any feedback that you have, as well as subscribing it's free from whatever.

You're listening from, whether that's the podcast listening platforms. And if you're listening on Spotify or Apple podcasts, make sure you also check out the YouTube for visuals, because we also post the episodes on there. Share tell a friend, tell a friend and wow, these conversations are the reason why I started this podcast in the first place.

So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you. Let me say something. Yes, I have seen a lot of people grow from being maybe pseudo celebrities or from a very place or maybe not low, but like an ordinary place to somewhere that actually means something.

And I've watched this happen for a number of people, even people that are very popular right now, like Bernard Boy. Right. And I really love to see that happen for people.

And I really can't wait to see yours happen. Oh, that's so lovely. I'm glad that I'm one of the first guys, by the way.

I was one of the first guys on that's the face we are having. I'm really excited for what the future has for you. Thank you so much.

That means a lot. That means a lot. This is the beginning of my journey.

Well, not the beginning, honestly, but it's somewhere. And we're hoping that it's nothing short of success from here. And thank you again for deciding to come even without when the season comes out.

Maybe you may or may not know, we have been pre recording episodes before they even come out. So the guests haven't even seen this podcast. Don't know.

Any idea. Okay, you got some leakage of one episode. Funny enough, you're the only guest who have sent leakage.

But thank you. I hope people are just saying, yes, the idea. But yes.

Always a pleasure to have my guests, especially for this first season. I have extra appreciation for them because you guys have decided to still come in, believing in the vision and just taking it along with me. So I truly appreciate that.

And, yes, make sure you tune in next week for a new episode, which is obviously going to be an exciting one. My name is Alice Kanjejo. I have been your lovely host, and I shall see you in the next one.

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